WHO STOLE BUGZY’S BOOK?
One day, Bugzy was walking through the woods, enjoying the trees, the flowers, the fresh air, the softness of the wind on his face. He was thinking about how much he liked trees; how nice it is to sit under a tree on a nice day and read a book, or how nice it is to find shelter under a tree when it’s raining. He walked up a hill covered in green grass and clover. Tiny purple flowers dotted the landscape here and there.
It was beautiful day, bright and sunny. Bugzy settled under the oak, enjoying its shade. He laid down, resting his head on its massive trunk, and begun to read his book. Soon, he began to get tired. His eyes were feeling very heavy, so he put his book down and decided to take a little afternoon nap.
When Bugzy woke up, he reached next to him to pick his book back up and continue reading. Only he could not find it. He got up, thinking he had been laying on it while napping. But it was not there either. Frantically, he looked all around, but his book was gone.
“Well, it didn’t just walk off by itself” said Bugzy. “Someone must have taken it! But who?” he said. “I guess I will have to go ask around and see if anyone saw anything.”
Bugzy saw a little brown bunny rabbit down the hill, munching on some of the clover. He walked down the hill and asked “Excuse me Mr. Bunny, have you seen my book? It has a blue and white cover. I’m sure someone has taken it and I want to find it. Can you help?”
“No, I’m sorry young man” said the bunny. “I have been here for some time, but did not see anyone. Try asking Mr. Deer on the other side of the hill.”
“Ok, thanks” said Bugzy. I will try that.
So Bugzy marched up the hill and past the oak tree, and down to another pasture. After some walking, Bugzy found Mr. Deer.
“Excuse me Mr. Deer, have you seen my book? It has a blue and white cover. I’m sure someone has taken it and I want to find it. I was sitting under the mighty oak up the hill. Can you help?”
“Oh, let me see here” said the deer. “I have been eating grass here all afternoon, and I did not see anyone go up the hill” the deer said.
“If you go up the hill and past your oak tree, you will find a hedgehog in some tall grass. If you ask her, she might know something.”
So Bugzy walks back up the hill, past the oak tree, and back down the hill. He’s getting a little tired and frustrated now. He hikes across the meadow and finds Mrs. Renee Hedgehog in the tall grass. She has a bright yellow flower tucked in her fur.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Hedgehog, I don’t mean to disturb you, but can you help me?” Bugzy asks.
“Yes I will young man. How can I help you”she says.
“I am looking for my book. It has a blue and white cover. Someone took it while I was napping under the oak tree. Did you see anyone go up there? Have you seen my book?” Bugzy asks.
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t recall seeing anyone or anything go up the hill. But try asking Mr. Raven. I saw him land in your oak tree on the hill. Surely he has seen something while he was flying around” said Mrs. Hedgehog.
“Thank you” Bugzy says. “I hope he has seen my book, or who took it.”
Bugzy again hikes across the meadow and back up the hill to the mighty oak. On the bottom branch sits a large black raven.
“Hello Mr. Raven, I’m looking for my book. It has a blue and white cover. Someone took it when I was napping under the tree. No one has seen anything. I hope you have” Bugzy says.
“Well, well, well” the Raven cawed. “I might have seen something. A book you say? How do I know it is even yours? Maybe YOU stole it from someone else” said the Raven.
“IT HAS MY NAME IN FRONT!” Bugzy says. “It says “To Bugzy, happy reading always, love you, Mom.”
“That is very nice” says the Raven. “I will have to remember that.” “Bye now!”
“HEY, get back here” Bugzy says. The raven tries to fly away, and Bugzy jumps up and catches him.
“Spill it, bird” Bugzy says. “Where is my book? I know you something.”
Just then, the raven’s legs grow longer, about two feet long, with claws and brown fur. His head gets bigger and turns into a snout, with brown furry ears. His black tail feathers turn into a white and brown furry tail. He looks at Bugzy and says “Surprise!”
“COYOTE!” “COYOTE the trickster” shouts Bugzy with authority. “I should
have known it was you. Where is my book?” Bugzy says, not letting go of him.
“Didn’t you like my little game?” Coyote asks.
“No, I did not” Bugzy replies.
“Oh come now” says Coyote. “Wasn’t it fun, trekking up and down that hill all those times! HE HE HE, it sure was funny watching you. Work up a sweat, did we?”
“How many of those animals were you, pretending to be helpful” Bugzy asks.
“All but Mrs. Hedgehog, she was really just trying help and be nice” Coyote says. “Where’s the fun in that?” he says.
“Give me back my book, and I’ll be on my way” Bugzy says.
“NO WAY” says Coyote.
Bugzy then lifts Coyote up high with top two arms, squeezing Coyote tight. He then starts tickling Coyote’s belly with his other arms.
“Ho ho ho, heee, heee, haaa haaa, all right” Coyote laughs. “It’s up in the tree a few feet, no harm done, heee haa. Now let me down.”
Bugzy lets Coyote down. He sneers and Bugzy and runs off.
Bugzy climbs up a few branches and gets his book back. “Silly Coyote” he says. “Hopefully, that’s the last I see of him, but I doubt it.”
(Coyote is a character in several Native American tribe’s myths. He is known as a trickster and can change shapes.)
For more books and information on Native American myths and legends, try:
J299.72 American Indian Mythology
398.208997 Native American Myths
970.00497 Brief Guide to Native American Myths